Found June 05, 2012 on Ted's Army:

BardIf you were holding out hope that Daniel Bard was going to morph into a capable starting pitcher, his performance ******** on Sunday should have effectively murdered those dreams.  You just don't walk 6 of 13 batters then take the mound again in 5 days.  When you see the pitches he's hurling (like the one above, courtesy of it's obvious he has no control over where the ball is ending up.  He's like Ricky 'Wild Thing' Vaughn in the first half of Major League, only way less cool and intimidating. 

Another trait that Bard and Vaughn share is a crazy-fast fastball.  Except, that's another part of Bard's game that's gone completely out the window.  His fastball isn't so fast anymore.  It's actually quite pedestrian.  And while a slight drop was expected (you can't throw the ball 98 MPH 100 times a game unless you're Superman or Justin Verlander), Bard's decrease in speed is way too great.

Cue, who are way better at explaining this stuff than I am.

Bard_velocityThey also make pretty nifty graphs.  For fans.

For your visual enjoyment, here is a plot of every pitcher whose average fastball velocity this year is lower than it was last year.

I bet you can pick out the little blue dot that represents Daniel Bard. He’s the lonely little icon in the lower left hand corner, hanging out all by himself with a reduction in average fastball speed of 4.2 MPH. Last year, only three pitchers in baseball – Henry Rodriguez, Aroldis Chapman, and Jordan Walden – threw harder than Bard. This year, Bard is throwing about as hard as Vin Mazzaro, Jeff Gray, and Jeremy Guthrie.

I'm not in Daniel Bard's head, nor am I in his meetings with the coaching staff.  I don't know how much of this dropoff is by design and how much of it is physical or mental.  But what I do know is that Bard's fastball was special.  Not record breaking by any means, but strong and intimidating.  It setup everything he did as a pitcher.  

When you can zing a 99-100 MPH fastball at a batter you don't need to have pinpoint accuracy.  The batter doesn't have time to figure out if it's outside by an inch or two.  If it's close, he's swinging.  His only hope is he gets the bat off his shoulder fast enough. 

That weapon, that advantage that Bard possessed, has been neutered.  Now he's just a pitcher with poor control and underwhelming stuff.  Without the ability to just pull back and whizz one in there to get himself out of a jam, he's completely exposed.

I don't see any way that the Sox can keep Bard up in Boston, regardless of whether they decide to move him back to the pen.  He's going to need some time to recover from this.  Bard's not broken, but he's certainly in disrepair.  And if they do decide that they still want to turn him into a starter, they better work on that velocity as well as his control. 


Daniel Bard sent down to AAA, Darnell McDonald activated

According to Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe, Daniel Bard has been sent down to Pawtucket. The Red Sox were expected to make a decision on Bard today, and they decided that Bard needs time in AAA. Darnell McDonald is expected to be added to the roster as a corresponding move, as he is done rehabbing with the PawSox. The Red Sox had high hopes that Daniel Bard could become a great...

When Will Daniel Bard Start His Next Game for the Red Sox?

What to do with Daniel Bard? That's the question the Red Sox must answer in the wake of their decision to send the righty down to Triple-A Pawtucket in the hopes of fixing his mechanics and returning to the basics of what made him so successful as a receiver. That's the biggest issue, of course -- how successful he was as a reliever. Bard was usually lights-out as the Red...

Daniel Bard's Demotion Has Fans Thinking Positively About Eventual Return to Big Leagues (Video)

Daniel Bard is headed to the minor leagues to straighten some things out, and how long he will stay there is up in the air at this point. When he returns, however, many Red Sox fans seem optimistic about his chances at contributing positively to the Sox pitching staff -- in whatever role that may be. NESN Nation's Dan Duquette asked our Twitter followers for their reactions to...

Daniel Bard Watches Tape Immediately After Rough Start Versus Blue Jays (Video)

It clearly wasn't Daniel Bard's afternoon. The former reliever has been struggling of late, and Sunday may have been the low point of the former reliever's season thus far, with five runs and six walks allowed in just 1.2 innings. However, to Bard's credit, he clearly isn't shying away from the challenge in front of him. Immediately after being removed from the...

Red Sox won't commit to Bard's future role

One day after being demoted to the minors, Daniel Bard returned to Fenway Park to throw a bullpen session under the supervision of Boston Red Sox pitching coach Bob McClure and to meet with general manager Ben Cherington. After the meeting, which didn't include manager Bobby Valentine, it was determined Bard will make a shorter-than-normal start Friday night at Class AAA Pawtucket...

The Problem With Daniel Bard

On Sunday, Daniel Bard faced thirteen Blue Jays – he got four outs, walked six, hit two more, and gave up a home run for good measure. Despite that being the only hit he allowed, he gave up five runs, putting a cap on the disaster that has been his experiment as a starting pitcher. Given that he’s either walked or beaned 18 percent of the batters he’s faced this year, it’s...

Red Sox Hope Daniel Bard Can Correct Mechanics in Pawtucket, Still Envision Him as Starter For Now

BOSTON –– Daniel Bard didn't feel a demotion was necessary. But after the right-hander suffered control issues in Sunday's start against Toronto –– where he walked six batters and plunked two –– general manager Ben Cherington, manager Bobby Valentine and pitching coach Bob McClure thought otherwise. As a result of a private meeting between the Red Sox brass, the...

Report: Daniel Bard Sent Down To Pawtucket

It appears as though the Daniel Bard as a starter experiment has hit a major snag. It is being reported by several media outlets, including that the  Red Sox pitcher has been demoted to the Triple-A Pawtucket Red Sox.  A move in general was necessitated by the activation of OF Darnell McDonald from the disabled [...]

Bard Sent To Pawtucket

Pete Abraham reported via twitter that Daniel Bard has been sent to AAA.  This is after his worst start of the season.  It was reported that the corresponding roster move was to activate Darnell McDonald.    Shelley Thoughts on this: I think the most that Bard needs is confidence and I'm not sure sending him down to AAA does this.  I can't help having visions of the...

Red Sox News & Notes - 6/4

Mom, make some room in the basement because we're moving back in, temporarily we hope. With Daniel Bard unable to hit the broadside of a barn on Sunday afternoon and his Boston Red Sox offense unable to do much against rookie Drew Hutchison, the Toronto Blue Jays were able to win 5-1. The win by the Blue Jays moves them back into a tie for last in the AL East. Bard'...

Your Morning Dump...where the Sox snagged another defense-first shortstop

Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here... highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump. The Sox had three of the first 37 picks in the first round and sandwich round and used them to select shortstop Deven Marrero No. 24 from Arizona State, lefthander Brian Johnson from the University of Florida...

The Daniel Bard Paradox

What would you do if you had lightning in  a bottle, but he bottle was cracked? Probably try to apply some heavy duty glue first, but if that didn’t work, what choice is there? If it’s cracked, and you can’t fix it, you’ve got to throw out the bottle. Enter Daniel Bard, the man the Red Sox drafted in the first round of the MLB Draft in 2006, the man who made a name for himself...

Daisuke Matsuzaka Set to Return to Rotation as Daniel Bard Looks to Make Adjustments (Video)

Daisuke Matsuzaka's final rehab tuneup didn't go exactly as planned Tuesday night. Matsuzaka was set to go three innings in an abbreviated test before taking Daniel Bard's vacated place in the rotation, but couldn't even make it that far as he threw 40 pitches in just 1 2/3 innings. No matter, as the important thing is that Dice-K is healthy and ready to contribute...
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